“But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:1-3).
The judgments of God strike suddenly, but not without warning. God promised that He would do nothing, including sending judgment, without telling His prophets what was coming. “Surely the Lord God will do nothing [unless] he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7). God promises that a trumpet will be sounded; He will roar like a lion to awaken the people prior to judgment. “And the Lord shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord God shall blow the trumpet” (Zechariah 9:14).
God blows the trumpet, a reverberating blast, a warning, through the voice of His watchmen and prophets. Paul warned, “Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52). “At the last trump” suggests there were other trumpet blasts. I believe this means that just prior to the change that will come “in the twinkling of an eye,” the Holy Spirit will have all His watchmen at their posts, all seeing eye to eye, all giving forth the last call—the final warning!
No wonder Paul wrote these words to the church at Thessalonica. Why should it be perfectly clear to them that God’s Day of Judgment would come suddenly? The church in Thessalonica was only about six months old when this letter was received. Paul probably preached about Noah and Lot and the sudden destruction of Israel and they had all the same Old Testament examples we have. Paul is saying: “It is perfectly clear that God’s judgments will fall suddenly, like a thief in the night! Yet, no believer should ever be surprised.” That day should not overtake God’s people unexpectedly. We should know how God works, because we have His record.